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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Dec 10, 2006 7:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Jerry Christ

Okay, bad call on the subject heading, but it's a truism that Monsignor Garcia--no flowing robes, but clad only in his customary garments--has inspired some (many?) to pay homage (worship?) not only to his every action and utterance, whether spoken or sung, but to the perceived essence of the Man. I mean, who was Jer at the core? Reluctant hippie, heart-throb, sometime genius, existentialist throw-back, man-in-right-place-at-right-time, junkie, saint, sinner? Yeah, add or subtract from the list. It don't matter really. I suppose he was to each whoever or whatever that person wanted to believe/see. Books have been written. Books will be written. Forests will be razed for the purpose.

Earl wrote a couple of weeks ago that going to a GD show was a party, going to a JGB show was church, or something to that effect. I had never previously viewed the two experiences in that light, but since then have come to agree, and have added to Earl's perspective with the following: listening to a GD show, the party in session is not always evident from the music, but listening to a JGB show, the church atmosphere is very often, even mostly, evident from the music alone.

Why do i say this? I don't know exactly, but perhaps it was listening to 12/11/77 (Recreation Hall), especially particularly that show's version of Gomorrah, so many times the past several days that an epiphany was in order. Hell, maybe it was the vodka. Maybe it was the heat radiating from the seat next to mine last night on the long return trip from NYC, as the 12/8/77 Knockin' On Heaven's Door was telling me to knock on something closer to home. Maybe it was just a Simple Twist Of Fate. Maybe in the end it's what it was, nothing more. Don't know the Man, never knew the Man, could care less if i ever understand the Man. But like Shakespeare did via another art form, Jerry did with guitar and voice and whatever effin' something else indefinable, he well, brought it all to life.

I mean, hey, here we all are on the most active band-related LMA forum, eleven years post the big guy's demise, stirring it up, discussing, commenting, arguing, sharing, recommending, helping, recalling, posting, corresponding, listing, attaching, and lots of other "ings". Yeah well, you all get the picture.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Dec 11, 2006 4:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

Thanks to all who commented, as i truly enjoyed reading all your perspectives. I suppose i should clarify/append since i guess it didn't come across so well in my original post. But i assure you that i in no way espouse or agree with the idea or image of Garcia as Christ. If some took it that way, well, that's your take, not mine. Call it poetic license, or finding the best phrase for dramatic effect. And writing, after all, is not always the sterile exercise of say, what writing a form letter is. Further, meaning is always lost in the gulf between sayer and receiver. And nor do i elevate Garcia to any degree higher than i might for any musician or artist with that level of talent, very few though they be from my vantage point. My subject heading was more pseudo-mock, as was various points in my post. In truth, i ever only had (past tense) one "celebrity" hero in my life, and that was Houdini. If you think Garcia worked a crowd ...

Obviously i take great enjoyment from listening to Jerry's playing and singing. Hell, i wouldn't be spending as much time here discussing it if i did not. But priest, prophet, christ figure, shaman, most definitely not. Now, Joey Ramone on the other hand ...

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Dec 11, 2006 4:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

you were only writing that post because you saw/felt "god" on the bus ride - who are you foolin ;)

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Dec 11, 2006 9:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

I assure you, sir, my thoughts were pure!

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Dec 11, 2006 9:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

purely _____________ (insert appropriate adjective here)

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Dec 10, 2006 8:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

damn, another 2nd coming done come and gone, my oh my.

Well we still got the tapes, books, joss sticks and jazz cigarrettes....

Jerry Krishna, Jerry Krishna, Jerry Jerry...

Attachment: Jerome67.jpg
Attachment: Grateful Dead fan clu#15ADE.jpg
Attachment: GARCEE-YA.jpg

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Dec 11, 2006 11:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

There was a short-lived animated series on NBC that was cancelled immediately and boycotted by church groups. Supposedly the Christ-figure was a spitting image of Garcia and his attitudes, ect. This came out a few years ago. Never saw it so I can't comment. Anyone have a name for this series?

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Poster: darkeyes Date: Dec 11, 2006 6:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

Amen to that BryanE. Although, some worshiped or idolized the man, he is not God. Jesus is the Christ. Sorry, Im one of those Conservative Fundamentalist; Still dig the music though. Merry CHRISTmas

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Poster: Chris Freedom Date: Dec 10, 2006 9:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

I took a really Conservative Fundamentalist girl to the Columbus, Ohio summer 2004 "THe Dead" or as i jokingly called it "NIGHT of a thousand urinals" anyhow first comment out of her mouth was "this is the hippie church!" I thought it a pretty good observation and that was without Garcia of course. Things went pretty well until after the show
when somebody had taken some nasty hardcore magazine and put a page on almost every windshield in the lot, a negative version of two fishes and four loaves, anyway got to have sinners to need a savior.
Jerry once said he had no problem with the religious overtones of some Deadheads toward him until "they break out the hammer and nails"

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Dec 10, 2006 8:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

"Maybe it was the heat radiating from the seat next to mine last night on the long return trip from NYC, as the 12/8/77 Knockin' On Heaven's Door was telling me to knock on something closer to home."

that was just cruel and you know it!!!!!! you are just tryin to rub it in my face :) (pun most likely intended)

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Dec 10, 2006 8:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

Ha, ha ... yeah, but you KNOW i threw than in there just for you. You know, to make you feel jealous and all.

This post was modified by Arbuthnot on 2006-12-11 04:16:58

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Dec 10, 2006 8:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

i sure did know that, and it worked!!! just not fair - couldn't have been too easy for you in certain ways either ;)

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Dec 10, 2006 8:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

Ya, you are right ... it wasn't easy at all. I'm still thinkin' on it. Damn, what a woman!

Hey, check your e-mail. I just sent you the Gomarrah in question via 'dropload'. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Dec 10, 2006 8:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

just listened to it :)

real real sweet - one of the smoothest i've heard - thanks man - a nice treat for this evening after a day of unusually hyperactive kids (not a complaint at all, but not the norm for them). that really is a great version - extrememely soulful!! great sound too :) thanks again!

p.s. and even though i wasn't the one there, that bus ride image is even tough for me to shake - lol (can't imagine what you are goin through)

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Dec 10, 2006 8:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

Cool. Glad the transfer worked. Never used dropload.com before, but saw someone post something about it here on the forum, so thought i'd give it a try. Great way to send a large file.

Sorry to hear about the hyperactive day. But it's just kids, right, and from what i gather, they're sweet most of the time. And besides, you've got spooky to turn to in your time of need.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Dec 10, 2006 8:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

my kids are usually awesom and really were this weekend - i cant complain one tiny bit - just a bit hyper - i can cut them some slack sometimes, just like they do for me various times. goes both ways.

and spooky???? he is on the shit list. knocked over a container of hot sauce onto my cast tonight (right near my toes) - his is sulking upstairs. don't think he liked my tone of voice when that happenend. he's probably under one of the kid's beds for the rest of the evening.

well, speaking of bed, i'm off the evening - glad you had a good NY trip man - thanks for the dropload and talk to ya soon - have a great nite!!!!

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Poster: cush11 Date: Dec 10, 2006 8:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

Or Spooky to turn on his pet Wolf! Don't know about the aforementioned Gommorah, but there is a very sweet one (1990ish) on the best of JG release I played a few times till ghost boy got it! Jerry just had a truly unique soul, especially in his own gigs. I've been listening and thinking, where the hell did that come from? No one has played with, how to describe... pure primordial ooze? Like Garcia did. In the good days, the bad days, the fat days, the skinny days, the high days and the too high days... There was always something from his soul to stir mine! Better post now, I type slow...

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Dec 11, 2006 6:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

Not so sure I can draw a direct comparison between the two, but I will say that Jerry, like very few others, had a gift that allowed him to communicate to people in a way that spoke to more than just your "brain", it also spoke to your soul. These people I don't think of as "prophets", but rather True Artists. Now, others who have/had this "gift" may have expressed it in different ways (through speech, sculpture, painting, etc.), and for different purposes, but the core of the power eminates from the same place. Christ is in the prophet category (for those who believe; my personal belief is just that: personal), while Jerry and others are in the artist category. Prophets speak to the entire world, espousing tenants that apply to all people as being under a single creator, focusing on beliefs that constitute an entire way of life. Artists speak more to the individual, hoping to bring a new beauty to that persons perception, not asking that person to "believe" in the art, just to absorb it and appreciate it for what it is.
That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Dec 11, 2006 7:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

Arbuthnot, thanks for the citation...it does us all good to be recognized for saying something meaningful. My intent when saying what I did was to comment on the atmospheric elements at the two different shows rather than to call into play anything religious.

That said, the JGB shows allowed for an intensity of focus that was not present at most GD shows, especially in huge venues. In fact, everything was more tightly focused, all the senses were more directed at Jerry himself than was ever possible at Dead shows.

For me personally, Jerry shows were more cathartic, more emotional, more directly connected to the man, the guitar and the music. It was possible to "get it" at a JGB show without benefit of anything mind altering.

I recall a '75 LOM show where he had his way with every member of the audience...like a magician. I had never been witness to anything so powerful in my life. The LOM format was for each member of the band to take a turn soloing, with Garcia usually taking two, the first and the last. It actually was fairly predictable and almost boring at times...as we waited for the last solo to come 'round.

Inevitably he would solo through the verse and chorus one time, then look over his glasses and smile that smile. Almost as if saying, "you ain't see shit," he would then ramp it up untold levels, just breathtaking. I remember walking out of that show into the cold evening and thinking to myself that if there was another guitar player that held that kind of power in the palm of his hand...I would rather not know about it. It shook me to the core. In years since, I've often wondered why Jerry was so frequently overlooked for his absolute mastery of blues playing.

In thinking about the tone of this thread, I must admit that I have some issues regarding Garcia as a "hero." Junk food eating, BMW driving, cigarette smoking, womanizing junkie that he was. I feel the very same way about another of my childhood heroes, Mickey Mantle - who passed less than a week after Jerry. (It was a tough time.)

Both of these men were deeply faulty when it comes to the values I've adopted in my family life. Both were very similar in their virtual inability to understand what all the fuss was about. They were doing something that they absolutely loved more than anything else in their lives - and everything else around them suffered because of that love and dedication.

Jerry's own daughter eulogized him by saying he was a shitty father...and we all know that to be true. She loved him nonetheless, and seemed to know and understand the plight of his fame. We redeem him for the same reasons, but rarely get to discuss it. After all, a man is just a man.

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Poster: BryanE Date: Dec 11, 2006 8:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

Earl,
Consider those to be some well-received thoughts from where I sit.

I was so heartbroken when I learned that my "hero," and he really was just that, had gotten as strung out as he did. It was mighty difficult for me to accept that a man with such a gift for providing joy and for inspiring thousands to seek, find, and follow that elusive bliss in life could have been hopelessly schackled to something so ugly and wasteful.

But I'm not alone among those who share their thoughts here in that nothing ever diminished the wonderful power he had for making me feel good. He had that laid-back awareness that what he was doing, when it was "exactly right," to use a Weirism, was firing on all eight cylinders, and his infectious grin let us all know we were in on something really special. He was as astute of a musicologist as one could find, always eschewing fashion in favor of playing only what interested him, and fortunately for us, those interests were almost as varied as music itself. I completely agree that he was grossly underrated as a blues soloist, but we can consider ourselves lucky that we were clued into that part of his repertoire nevertheless. What provided us with some of the most fun was how much he got off on just kicking out some good old-fashioned, down and dirty rock-n-roll, the way in which he would reposition the grip on his pick, find the best spot on the neck for his left hand to hit a perfectly raunchy triple stop, and just cut loose, strumming those goddamned strings with a ferocity that was unmatched by a slew of more celebrated or popular guitarists who shall remain nameless.

I definitely wish I would have had more chances than I did to see him playing outside of The Grateful Dead's universe. It is true that even though with The Grateful Dead he was the leader of a band that made its bread and butter by, more or less, inventing their own brand of music, with his own band(s), he enjoyed even greater freedom. And that was really something to behold. We've often heard the comparison drawn between going to Garcia Band shows and going to church. I'll forego interpreting what that meant to me, but it occurs to me from time to time that one little ingredient of his style which helped to distinguish him among a lot of other performers of his generation was that understanding and appreciation he had for non-secular music. Man, what a sermon he could deliver, and when he would clarify whatever his version of fire and brimstone that was being layed down by referring to the congregation as "children," were there any sinners left in the house who would not have been able to offer their own witness at that point? Like I said earlier, no, he wasn't Christ, no way, no how, not at all, and he would shudder at any comparisons to him and any deity, but whatever it was he was preaching, he could sure turn those who who were listening into true believers.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Dec 11, 2006 11:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

Bryan..I posted a story several months ago that bears repeating here. I took a much younger "date" to a Jerry show who's only exposure to the Dead was what she had heard on the radio...Trucking, Casey Jones, the usual. I was totally unsure of whether she would enjoy herself, but glad for the company. Always enraptured, I didn't pay a lot of attention to her, she was polite in her response to most of the tunes, but not wigging out with enthusiasm.

During the "Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" where Jerry takes the final solo after Melvin ramps up the B3...coming out of the smoke...I turned to her and she was openly and uncontrollably weeping. I knew then that she "got it."

The music stands on it's own and is really testimony to his absolute and intellectual mastery of what he spent his life doing. In that regard, he stands alone in my book, the rest is really just a historical footnote.

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Poster: BryanE Date: Dec 11, 2006 3:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

Well, he wasn't Christ, I'll tell you that.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Dec 11, 2006 4:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry Christ

very much agreed from my perspective; just always struck me though how some acted/reacted as though he was; thus the 'mock' subject heading i employed